Escape from North Carolina – A Passover Exodus

As many of you may know from personal experience or from my 2017 blog post, The Holiday Where We Enslave Ourselves to Celebrate Our Freedom from Slavery, Passover is….. challenging. The cleaning, turning over your kitchen, food shopping, and meal planning contribute to a distinct level of stress not present with the celebration of any other Jewish holiday. It really is such a challenge that this was actually a factor I considered when we were talking about moving to North Carolina. That might seem ridiculous, but let me explain….

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Closer, But Still Not Florida

About a month ago, I made my first trip down to Florida since moving to North Carolina. I was lucky enough to be able to fly down to Florida and surprise my best friend for her bridal shower/bachelorette party weekend. We crammed so much fun into 48 hours, it was insane. I even somehow managed to get the special bonus of having a short pit-stop with my parents. This weekend had everything I needed, and while I was a bit tired from the going-going-going as I waited in the airport for my flight, I was content with how everything had turned out. But then, after I was finally on the plane and the flight was in line to take off on the tarmac, I started to get a bit choked up.

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There’s a Reason I’m Not a Fashion Blogger

Exhibit A as to why I’m not a fashion blogger: I love this dress with the passion of 1,000 suns.


Oh yes, my friends, those are cats.

This post is in no way sponsored by Modcloth, I am just a sucker for and love to share strange cat things. The dress can be found here if anyone is interested, but unfortunately $79.99 is a bit too pricey for me, so I’ll be waiting until this [hopefully] goes on sale.

“You’re from Florida? Aren’t hurricanes like your thing?”

While we can now pretty safely say that Hurricane Maria won’t be a threat to us here in North Carolina, about this time last week when I was preparing for both Rosh Hashanah and going down to Florida to surprise my best friend for her bridal shower & bachelorette weekend, my stomach was in knots wondering if the storm would be making a bee-line for us. Looking at the forecasts, it had the potential to be a repeat of Irma where I would be away from the friends and family who were taking the brunt of the storm – this time, I would just be in Florida instead of Japan. How was this happening again???

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My Special Rosh Hashanah Gift to You

It’s that time of the year, my friends. No, it’s not just that time when the Days of Awe and the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are upon us. It is also the time when someone inevitably busts out a bottle of migraine-generatingly sweet Manischewitz wine to celebrate the yom tov.  Whether it is because no other kosher wine is available for the occasion, a yet-uninitiated guest brings it as a gift, or we just have a slightly masochistic flair for tradition, Manischewitz always seems to find its way to the Rosh Hashanah dinner table. And not only that, because hardly anyone is eager to down one full glass of the wine, let alone multiple, there is usually plenty left to spare after the holidays pass.     

So, what to do, what to do? Well, I have a solution for you and I call it the Mani-spritzer. 

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The Unique Experience of Being Terrified from over 7,000 Miles Away

Recently, Jason and I were very fortunate to be able to take a trip to Japan for our first anniversary. Japan is a place I have been fascinated with and have wanted to visit since I was probably about 10 years old when my mom let me watch the Shogun miniseries when it was being re-run on TV. It is a place that, even from early on in our relationship, Jason and I both agreed we wanted to travel to together some day. We had a fantastic time on the trip and in the next few weeks I’m excited to share some highlights of the trip as well as some tips/recommendations for anyone looking to take a trip to Japan in posts on the blog. However, this post has a slightly different purpose.

I can’t remember exactly what day it was, but early on in our trip, I noticed a few Florida friends posting on Facebook about a certain Hurricane Irma which was hanging out in the Atlantic and building in intensity.

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The Post That Should Have Never Had to Be Written

As a Jew who just moved from New York City back to the South about three months ago, I think I held it together pretty well last week when it came to the events that transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia and their aftermath across the Bible Belt.

As with most people my age, I expressed my anger, outrage, frustration, and depression to my 617 closest friends on Facebook, which helped me hold it together.

I shared a few funny memes (which shouldn’t actually be funny, but are because we are living in the Twilight Zone), which helped me hold it together.

I nodded with a vigor like I’ve never nodded before as I watched Last Week Tonight with John Oliver as he said everything I was feeling about Trump’s failure as a leader after Charlottesville, which helped me hold it together.

I confided to my parents that an angry mob, albeit a small one, pulling down a Confederate monument in front of the Durham County Courthouse 15 minutes from my house scared me (regardless of whether they had the moral high ground), which helped me hold it together.

But then I read the statement put out from the Tiki torch company in response to Charlottesville. That’s when I could no longer hold it together and broke down in tears. Here is what they had to say:


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Overcoming Being a Writing Perfectionist & July Round-Up

I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist when it comes to writing. I usually want a piece or paper to be absolutely perfect before anyone else lays eyes on it. My writing process itself involves lots of re-reading and self-editing to get the wording I feel conveys my point. And this extensive review doesn’t just happen when I am writing, it also happens before I even put pen to paper. (Or I guess fingers to keys in today’s day and age.) I may have an idea for something to write, but if that idea is not fully formed, I have trouble even just getting started and coming back to the piece when my mind has figured out what I want to say. 

My last post here on the blog was a few weeks ago, and while plenty has been going on and I’ve had plenty of ideas, the writing perfectionist in me hasn’t let any of that see the light of day on the blog. For example, sometimes I would have an idea for a post, but think, “Nah, no one wants to read that.” Other times I would get preoccupied that I didn’t have any pearls of wisdom to share about an event that occurred, and therefore decided it wasn’t worth posting.   

I realize now, though, that if I’m going to actually do this blog thing, I’ve got to get past this and post with a bit more regularity. This doesn’t mean I’m going to start posting about everything that happens, (“Hey guys! Stubbed my toe! This sucks! Happy Monday!!”) or that I am going to lower the quality of my posts, but I am going to try to give myself a little breathing room and keep in mind that not everything I post has to be ground breaking, earth shattering, or cerebral.

With that, I want to give everyone a July round up of what has been happening in Casa Tenenbaum.

  • We had our first visitors! Jason’s parents came down for a few days and stayed at a nearby hotel. It was nice to see them, show them a few places we have discovered in our short time here, and explore a few new places. 

  • I went to Raleigh Supercon, which is a comic book, anime, fantasy, sci-fi, and generally all things nerd convention. They have panels, celebrities you can meet, games, events, and lots of great shopping. It was huge. I indulged and bought a few souvenirs. I enjoyed a panel that was a discussion on superhero justice – right up my alley as a lawyer.  But my favorite thing about Supercon, and these types of conventions in general, was the cosplayers. (For anyone who may not know, I will save you a Google search – cosplay is where people dress up as characters from shows, movies, books, comics, etc.) Here are a few pictures of my favorites, but more photos can be found at our Instagram account, o_tenenbaum

I am Groot.


I am the law!


Loki giving an interview about his impending conquering of the human race.



  • Jason and I attended an alumni event for his college at a Durham Bulls game. The people we met were very nice and the Bulls are the minor league affiliate of my baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays, so I was excited to see them play.

  • Jason and I went out to a comedy club and saw Brian Posehn, who was HILARIOUS. 

  • We decided to take the plunge and a booked a trip for our first anniversary to a place that is on both of our bucket lists – Japan. (I guess our “paper” anniversary is plane tickets, haha.) We’ll be there at the beginning of September and are in the process of planning the trip now. Currently the plan is to see Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka. We are also a bit ambitious and are planning to climb Mt. Fuji. Feel free to leave any tips, suggestions, or recommendations for the trip in the comments!

  • On a less happy note, I had my first time being sick in North Carolina this month. It was a head cold and let me tell you, it knocked me out. I’m still recovering at this point – I feel better, but the cough won’t go away yet. I’m also currently suffering from some kind of stomach bug or maybe I ate something that did not agree with me. Not winning on the health front this month, unfortunately. Hopefully I can turn the corner on all of this soon.

Besides for all the above, I managed to do a fair amount of cooking in the month of July, so stay tuned for a similar round-up style post of my culinary adventures from the month. 

Did you guys have any fun adventures in July? Or maybe you also suffer from my perfectionist writer’s ailment? Feel free to share in the comments!

This Chair is Making My Butt Hurt and Other Reflections on My First Month of Working from Home

When Jason and I started announcing the news to everyone that we would be moving to the Raleigh area for his job, I think one of the questions that most frequently ensued was, “What’s Joey going to do?” And by “most frequently ensued,” I mean it was pretty solidly the first question everyone spouted. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t expecting that reaction and I was thankful that I had an answer for them other than just, “I’m not sure, we’ll see” (which, the psychology of that is a whole other can of worms for another post at another time, I think).

One large factor that we considered when first deciding on Raleigh was would we be able to make it down there on one income? Yes, it is cheaper to live in North Carolina, but would it be cheap enough that we’d be stable even if I didn’t have a job for a while? We thought about this for some time and ultimately decided it was feasible, but even with it being feasible, we were going to look into some avenues where I could still bring home a paycheck. The obvious first option was to see if my current job would let me continue to work for them remotely in North Carolina.

I sat down with the managing partner about a month before what would be my last day to let him know about the move and I had a whole pitch in my head to sell him on my working remotely. Before I could even get going on my pitch, though, he brought up the possibility himself and the rest is history. 

I would say I have never really worked from home. I mean, yes, I can remember one snow day, one day where I had a networking event smack dab in the middle of the day and it didn’t make sense to go into the office, and there were some weekends where I emailed myself things and worked on them on my laptop at home. But I have never been a telecommuter or someone whose official work home base is, well, their home. 

Now, I have officially been working from home for one month and I thought it was time for a post about how it’s been going. 

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